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I'm attempting to brine multiple, however I am confused as to whether my brine will be sufficient. When I usually brine a single chicken I measure the weight of the water that I am going to use and then add salt which is equivalent to 5 percent of of that water's weight.

This time however I need to brine 4 chickens, and I've bought a 10 litre food grade container for this purpose. I'm wondering if I fill this entire container up with water that must mean i'll have to use 500 grams of salt to get a 5% brine solution, that's a lot of salt. What if I used 5 litres of water instead, and 250 grams of salt, this is still a 5% brine solution, will it yield the same results? How long should I brine for optimal results. When I brine a single chicken I usually brine for 5 hours as i've read that any longer and the chicken will become very salty? (Is this true?) And should the weight of the chickens factor into anything?

I'm cooking for a lot of people and I havent brined at this scale before so any help would be appreciated.

  • If you filled the whole thing w/ water and sufficient salt to make 5% ... you'd not have space left for the chickens. Start w/ 5L water / 250g. salt, add the chickens, and then see if there's still space left in the vessel (and if the chickens are all submerged) – Joe Sep 6 '14 at 16:38
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If you stay with the same ratio of salt (and any other ingredients) to water that you normally use, you should achieve the same results. As you normally use a 5% solution it shouldn't matter how many chickens or how much water if you stay with the 5% solution.

The only thing that the weight of the chickens will factor into is the amount of brining time needed. A larger bird will take more time than a small one.

Re time, a good rule of thumb for whole chickens is 2 hours per pound, using a 4% solution. You may want to slightly reduce the time per pound using a 5% solution. So, your 5 hours sounds about right. I wouldn't go over that as I would be concerned that it may make the meat mushy. (Haven't ever done that but I've heard that it can happen if over brined.)

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    Just to be clear: Two five birds will take the same length of time as one five pound bird. One ten pound bird will take longer. – Jolenealaska Sep 6 '14 at 16:18

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